Chile has long been the center for radical propaganda painting. As early as 1940 leading Mexican and Chilean artists were painting murals in Chile. Now, Latin American street art is as innovative as any in the world and Chile plays a really big part in this.
I was amazed by the amount and quality of graffiti that covered the walls of Santiago. I spent hours walking through the streets taking photographs of the beautiful “art works” that are on display throughout the city.
Chile has embraced an era of new freedoms since the end of Pinochet’s dictatorship in 1990 and made up for some lost time. Most of the contemporary artists and graffiteros in Santiago have their roots in Latin American propaganda murals but are looking forward more and more. In 1991 crews of graffiti artists started to work in Santiago and they even formed collectives.
I have learned that it is not only Santiago that is covered in graffiti but the while of Chile, from Arica to Punta Arenas. Chile is at the southwest edge of the world, cut off from neighbouring countries by the Andes and this has definitely influences its cultural eccentricity.
Today outside mural painting in Chile is encouraged from school age on. The city’s street artists have painted Santiago into one of the hemisphere’s best concentrations of what has been called the last major pictorial form of the twentieth century.
I will always remember Santiago as the city covered in graffiti, the city that got me interested in street art!